tv [untitled] February 10, 2013 11:30pm-12:00am PST
for the benefit of this commission about street musicians mid-market playing nonamplified music and what can be done about excessive noise during working hours during the day on the street? >> sure. to give some context to the question, we've been getting a fair number of complaints from a lot of different people about noise in the city. there are at least three different supervisor offices we're working with now because it can be loud with this many people living in such a small area. i know it comes in all sorts and people make it all sorts of different ways. the street music or street performance front, i should say that we sympathize with people who are disturbed by it.
it's understandable that it's frustrating to have to go through your work there, your home life and hear lots and lots of loud noise all day. but from the government perspective which is who we are, unless someone is breaking the law there is very little that the government can do to stop people from talking or singing or performing. the main -- >> what about playing drums? >> the main tour we have right now is the noise level. you are allowed to have free speech. you're not allowed to have it any volume you want. that's the main constraint right now. and as far as entertainment commission is concerned, amplified sound is something that's within our jurisdiction. >> and when you suggest somebody does if they have a problem with, say, the bucket man, who should they call for resolving the case? >> i would probably start with
-- if you are government intervention that your assumption is, you should probably begin with police, not emergency, 311, and build in the main tools that you have. >> from our perspective, there are no other tools, right? >> your example, so it's clear to everyone, is use the bucket man. >> right. >> and a bucket is not an amplified instrument. >> right. >> therefore, that person, even if he or she walked into our office and asked for a permit, we don't have one for performing on the street. and, in fact, jocelyn and crystal and raj, we all get calls and e-mails and walk into all [speaker not understood] street performers, walking in and asking if they can have a permit. and we let them know, please follow the law. don't block the sidewalk. don't disturb the peace. but we don't have a permit for
you. my understanding is in the past there have been attempts to try to corral behavior or create some sort of registry or something, but from the perspective of the city attorney's office who can speak for themselves if they were here, but they expressed it is very difficult to write a regulation that captures all of the bad behavior and regulates it without affecting the first amendment. i mean, and we're not -- >> right. >> we're not immune to this either at city hall. there's plenty of free speech all the time, whether it's the chanting or the taxi drivers who circle the building for five or six hours a time honking their horns. it's people speaking their mind so we just have to be careful about how we tell people to shut up. >> so, do we iterate, just so i'm clear, as long as someone is not amplified and not
blocking the streets, they are within their rights to do this? >> and our other laws that might -- i thought the art commission does some kind of permitting for performers. >> no. >> i don't know. no? >> there's a lot of different property owners in san francisco. so, the parks department might be a little permit concert on parks land. the port might be a little permit actually on a pier. the entertainment commission does not have jurisdiction over golden gate park, for example, or dolores park. so, those concerts that happen there are -- we're talking about sidewalks, right? which are in our jurisdiction. >> yeah. >> so, what are you saying, it's not amplified and not blocking the street, it's free speech. and we have no tools to regulate it because it would be in violation of the first amendment of the constitution of the united states of america, correct?
>> correct. >> thank you very much. any other questions? >> this is questions or comments? >> yes. questions or comments, yes. >> okay, so, i have a couple of comments. i went to the broadway cbd meeting planning. they're possibly going to have a cbd there. commissioner lee was there and jocelyn was there as well. it sounds like it would be very helpful to the area. second, i was hoping, since we had all these people talking about outside promoters today and problems with outside promoters, i want to remind everyone there is a promoter list and your promoters should be signing up on that list if you are going to use them, they should be on our registered promoter list. and i would like to talk a little about the neighborhood
outreach representatives and what happens here. i'm looking into signing some legislation that could give al and i a little more umph when it comes to granting and denying permits because as it is now, we don't really have -- we can't say, you haven't done your community outreach. or we can't delay you. we can't stop you from doing this. because it is only a suggestion. and in the year and a half i've been here, the people who do the outreach end up being better engrained in the neighborhood and better representatives of the industry. and i think that we should have a stronger voice and be able to at least delay, if not stop the process, for not doing your community outreach. so, i am looking into that. and then i also wanted to say that it has come to my attention from several different sources that there are many neighborhood groups
that are asking for money to come here to give you -- give a bar or a restaurant a good review with their permit. and as far as i know, that is not legal. that is what we call extortion in the business. and it certainly doesn't do anything to make it seem like you're -- the outreach is doing any good or the up and up if these organizations are indeed charging membership dues or fees for good recommendation. so, if i hear it again, i'm going to check into it a little more. and then finally, i was just wondering if we could have a quick police permit process, how the police go through their process and the kind of discussion just so we can have a better idea what the police do on their end. just because i often feel like
i don't have all the cards when the police come here and they say, you know, it seems like you just give out permits all the time. i want to know what -- they have a better understanding what their process is. if someone can come give us a five-minute explanation. >> [speaker not understood], i better ask the inspector [speaker not understood] several persons request review and he'll tell you what he's instructed the officer to do. i think you have five minutes does vary a bit from permit officer to permit officer. whether appropriate or not, that is the outcome. [speaker not understood] to give you a view of how it works on their end. >> let me say something. i think that this commission and its staff has the highest amount of integrity that i can imagine. i really do. we don't just arbitrarily just
grant permits. >> no. >> let me finish. just so -- to be clear, we follow the code. we follow the law. we hold people to standards for noise, for security plan. we continue permits when they have not filled out their application correctly and have not done their due diligence. beyond that, to deny a permit or to not approve the permit without, without just cause within the code is reprehensible to me. when someone says we just approve permits, tell them to read the code because it says shall approve unless certain conditions exist where we're not allowed to. and i've had the same thing. so, i get it.
>> you know, i agree with you. but what i'm saying is that obviously there is enough need for neighborhood representatives to be appointed both by the mayor's office and by the board of supervisors. and for it just to be [speaker not understood] to the process and not have any ability to actually engage in this outreach and give -- with regard to members representing community here, i believe that the code needs to be looked at and strengthened so that when community outreach comes up, that there is the ability to delay. i don't think that it is a life-threatening problem with night life, but i do think the number one problem we have is between community and night life. and anything we can do in the code to strengthen that, i'm not saying that we just hand it out willy-nilly. but i think that sometimes it is important for a better
community outreach and to add that into the code. >> i don't disagree with you. but if we continue the permit in 15 days, it gets approved automatically. am i correct, staff? >> there is a time period for it depending on if -- i think commissioner hyde was talking about two separate things. i also think there won't ever be total agreement on this commission because it's not set up that way. you are all sitting in seats that don't always agree and that is sort of the beauty of the way this is set up. so, that's okay. we're probably not going to agree on this. [speaker not understood]. >> i have an opinion. >> do you? >> i do. >> i can't believe it. >> i kind of agree with
commissioner hyde's request. in prevent. measures we don't have to deal with it later, [speaker not understood] the neighbors do help. and i think if somehow, maybe in the meantime -- because i don't know all the neighborhood groups that are out there. i don't think staff really knows. if the neighborhood commissioners can pull a list together, is it kosher when they're applying for different permit in a certain area, with all the paperwork they have to fill out? can can you give them a sheet that says, these are the neighborhood organizations? and at least we don't see anything that says, i didn't know there's any neighborhood organizations there. you know. i think instead of changing the legislation, he's just looking for some way of saying, you know, there's got to be somebody there rather than there's nobody there. i'm kind of in agreement to what he says to say, i don't know about changing the law, but i think he just needs more tools. >> it's faster and easier to do it that way. >> exactly. >> instead of writing
legislation for sure. >> does that sound better than -- >> i just would like to be able to hold them accountable for doing the outreach because it is strongly recommended and there are two representatives. so, i think that that outreach should be done. >> i think if we give them the tools and they still don't do it, then we have something to discuss, you know. yes? >> just so everyone is aware process wise, the planning department website has a list of neighborhood organizations. i don't believe it's as up to date as the nen, the neighborhood empowerment network website. those are operated by the city and those are kept up to date and have very specific information, almost down the block for neighborhood associations. so, jocelyn and i are the
people to talk to, people who want permits, usually me. and we give pretty much the same speech to everyone. and this is for future. everyone knows that one question that they're guaranteed to get when they come here is what outreach did you do. and i almost tell them the answer. i say, if you say, i hung up the sign, that's a bad answer. and as you see, every time we have a meeting someone comes, i held up a sign. so, there's only so much she can do, there is only so much i can do. we try to bring the horses to the water. >> i think it would be nice to have certain districts -- if you're applying for a permit in this district, you kind of know who is in your area. you know. and again, the information [speaker not understood] industry, i don't know them all. >> [speaker not understood]. we do this. there's two websites that have
as much information as anybody can get of the organizations that exist. you can bring a horse to water. the end of that sentence, but you can't make them drink it. >> but if we don't give them the permit until they do the outreach -- >> you can continue with a request that they do the outreach. but i think that if they came back and they still didn't do it, it's a suggestion. that is exactly what commissioner hyde is talking about. he's suggesting that he would like to make a change so that in the code that they represent with a little more weight to it. my earlier comment with respect to [speaker not understood] and the commissioner agreed, he moves forward what may in fact happen. he knows where their concerns lie and it is very, very
tangential to building safety code enforcement issues. so, it is suggesting something weightier and i think we don't need to discuss this any further considering it's not on any agenda in particular. i'm sure that you'll hear more about this as we go forward and you guys can consider if a code change like he's suggesting, if in fact it can be done, which staff has inquired about in the past, can be done, we'll discuss it. >> can i ask a question? >> yes. >> this is going to help i think for when the slovenian hall comes back. what is the posting policy -- >> asked the same question. >> [speaker not understood] interesting. so, notice is supposed to be posted continuously and conspicuously. in looking at the picture, that doesn't seem very conspicuous
given the size of the font and my handwriting. i don't know if this is true of that space, but there are some limitations depending -- some venues don't have a window at ground level. so, a few times a year someone will come in because they had to post something on a wall and it gets ripped down and it gets rained on and they have to come back for a new one. it's a people posting system. the bigger point probably is if you do your outreach, it doesn't matter. [multiple voices] >> if we could have gone forward with the slovenian hall, they would have been in violation with the posting where they posted it and we would not have been able to grant. >> i don't think it says that in the code. i think it says not having the notice up isn't reason enough to delay t but i'd have to check. i'm pretty sure that it says that, though. >> okay. i can't recall exactly what the code says about that.
>> well, [speaker not understood]. certainly we have the authority to -- we can grant a continuance at a minimum [speaker not understood]. >> right. >> and force them to repost. >> would it have to be for the whole 30 days? >> i think that is not under discussion. >> okay. i just remember we have -- we continued the permit and made them meet for us 30 days when it was behind a gate. that was 30 years ago. i don't know if you remember that. so, it has to be posted where someone can read it. and if it's on the second floor and the typeface is small, it's very hard to read. it wouldn't have gone forward. we would have to made them repost for another 30 days and now they're going to have to repost anyway, right? >> yep. >> okay. anybody else?